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LS polls: Shiv Sena renominates Hemant Godse against SS (UBT) candidate Rajabhau Waje


Mumbai, May 1 (IANS) The Shiv Sena has renominated sitting MP Hemant Godse from the Nashik Lok Sabha constituency, thus ending the suspense. Godse had already started his campaign though Ajit Pawar-led NCP and BJP had also staked their claims over the Nashik Lok Sabha seat. Godse, who was elected in the 2014 and 2019 elections, will file his nomination on Thursday. He is pitted against the Shiv Sena (UBT) nominee Rajabhau Waje. Incidentally, both Godse and Waje hail from the politically influential Maratha community.Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said that the party has announced Godse’s candidature from Nashik and he will win the elections.Godse, who had made a strong case for his renomination by putting up a show of strength recently at the CM’s Thane residence, has thanked Shiv Sena chief Eknath Shinde saying that he will score a hat-trick.The delay in arriving at a seat-sharing arrangement over the Nashik constituency hogged the headlines as NCP minister and veteran OBC leader Chhagan Bhujbal claimed that his name was suggested by the BJP’s top leadership for the seat considering bright winning prospects.However, due to a lack of decision from his party and also within the MahaYuti, Bhujbal had recently opted out of the electoral fray, saying that he would work for the victory of MahaYuti’s nominee.But he had “suggested” the MahaYuti leaders not to delay further but announce the nominee before May 20 when the polling will take place in Nashik.As far as the BJP is concerned, the party had expressed strong reservations over the renomination of Godse, citing adverse poll survey reports of his victory and also over Bhujbal’s nomination.Several BJP leaders had met Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Rural Development Minister Girish Mahajan urging them to actively pursue the party’s claim over Nashik citing it has over 100 corporators and a maximum number of legislators in the constituency.At a time when the BJP, NCP, and Shiv Sena were engaged in talks, Shiv Sena (UBT) took the opportunity to gain mileage by declaring Rajabhau Waje from Sinnar tehsil as its nominee.Waje has already filed his nomination amid a massive show of strength by Maha Vikas Aghadi.Waje is hopeful to outsmart Godse seeking support from Maratha, minorities, and especially from onion-growing farmers who have been unhappy over inconsistent onion export policies.Godse, who has undertaken a slew of development works during his 10-year tenure, is seeking a third term banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “guarantee” and also the work done by MahaYuti government in Maharashtra.There are 20,04,704 voters, comprising 10,45,813 males and 9,58,815 females, in Nashik constituency.Of them, nearly 6.5 lakh are Marathas, 3 lakh OBCs, 1.50 lakh Muslims and 1.50 lakh Dalits.–IANSsj/pgh

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